Burden Rifle made and used in the Civil War...

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by jjmitchell60, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Here are pictures of a rifle that I own that was made by a man and his brotehr for a company of sharp shooters from OH during the CW. All were double triggers, buckhorn rear sights, plain blade front sights, iron and peweter furniture 1/2 stocked ,38 cal, 1" across the flats, 29" barreled, and 55.5" OAL. Thye ar eheavy guns, have a unique drum BUT that could be a conversion drum ffrom musket cap to number regular caps. I had to have abew drum made exactly like the original being the old drum was getting "thin: & unsafe IMHO. The nipple is rather long as well but it is the original replacement nipple from musket to regular caps. Here are the pictures, not great quality, and notice the rather deep rifling.

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  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Nice !! they did great work back then eh ..
  3. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    That hammer wasn't made to fire musket caps. Musket caps aren't that much longer than regular caps just a lot fatter. IMHO if it saw war service it was early on and didn't see much.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  4. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    The hammer, drum, and nipple were changed out after the war. You can see evidence of that in where that hammer has rubbed the side of the stock. All of the Burden rifles made for the one company of Ohio Sharp shooters were made to take musket caps but after the war wer converted to use regular caps. THese rifles pop up every once in a great while, have not seen any in many years now though, but they are out there. I have owned a couple other custom made rifles for the CW made here in KY. Most are not marked as to maker due to KY's split politics of the time. We had a southern governmental seat in Bowling Green KY and a Federal one in Frankfort, KY so the gun makers did not want to be seen as "choosing" a side. One has to rtememebr, most rifles used were mass produced like the enfiels and springfields but there were some small units of "special" troops that carried/used custom made guns from a gn maker that they liked. Here is the story of these Burden rifles:



    "Edmond Collins Burden
    Edmond Collins Burden was born in Nicholas County, July 20, 1826, grandson of Charles Burden (17763-1836) and the son of James Burden (1793-1888) and Elizabeth Collins, who was a granddaughter of Mark Kenton, Jr., an older brother of Simon Kenton. [Elizabeth Collins was the daughter of Edmond Collins and Sarah Kenton, and the sister of Matilda and Mariah, both of whom married William W. Wells, and Lucinda, who married Daniel Wells.] He lived in the community of Crayton where, at an early age, he became an expert gunsmith and long before the Civil War was producing his famous rifles, each marked on the top of the barrel: "E. C. Burden."

    He married on Oct. 17, 1850, in Nicholas County, Nancy Wells, daughter of Uriah Wells and Esther Pollick [sic], and later transferred this gun-making establishment to Carlisle. His youngest brother, James Madison Burden, became his apprentice. In 1852, he was elected Jailer of Nicholas County.

    Burden's excellent craftsmanship was always in demand and brought him recognition far beyond his own county. An Ohio county history book records that during the Civil War, a group of Ohio hunters formed a militia unit. Because each man was armed with his own Burden rifle, the unit was known as "The Burden Rifles."

    These Nicholas County made rifles can still be located in Nicholas and surrounding counties. Having been handed down for several generations, the writer possesses one of these muzzle loaders. It has a thick, octagon-shaped, long barrel and is very heavy; but, when placed to the shoulder, the balance is so remarkable that the heaviness disappears.

    In Feb. 1879, Burden and his married children moved to Kansas and settled near Hutchinson. His eldest son, Dr. William C. Burden, was a practicing physician until his death in 1903.

    Edmund C. Burden died in Feb. 1913, while living with relatives in Arkansas. His wife, Nancy, had died in 1904. Both are buried at Rogers, Ark. -- by Karl Rosenberg, Apdo. 5-472, Guadalajara, 5, Jal., Mexico.

    Cutler, William G. History of the State of Kansas. Chicago, Illinois: A. T. Andreas, 1893.

    Rice County, Part 7 Raymond"
  5. Roy Burden

    Roy Burden New Member

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    I'm certain I have an E.C.Burden rifle. At least it has E C Burden stamped on the barrel. I only purchased it a few years ago and it looks to be original . I would be glad to send some pictures to someone that could verify that it is all original. James Burden was my grandfather several G's ago.
    Roy Burden
    Email: pools@pools-by-design.com
  6. HAGEN442

    HAGEN442 New Member

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    Beautiful and Interesting
    Thanks for Sharing

    00
  7. dcriner

    dcriner Member

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    Roy and JJ: Have you fired your Burden rifles?

    P.S. I wonder if they were customarily fired with Minie balls or patched roundballs?
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
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